Shoppers in Bury St Edmunds can look forward to a special week of celebration from Monday (July 2) as the annual Our Bury St Edmunds Independents’ Week returns. With a supporting social media campaign using the hashtags #BuyBury #ShopIndependent and #ShopLocal the activities have been planned to tie in with Independents’ Day itself (and American Independence Day) on July 4.
Now some of the town’s newest, as well as the more established, independent businesses are making the most of the week, which is promoted by the Business Improvement District (BID) Our Bury St Edmunds. Mike Kirkham, who is the BID’s Marketing and Business Support Officer is co-ordinating the week. He said: “With nearly 300 independent businesses in the town centre we have a lot to look forward to next week. On Wednesday there will be a Town Crier visiting some of our businesses and the Mayor will also be calling in on several of them.”
For independent hairdressing salon Gavin Ashley on Churchgate Street, Independents’ Day will be a double celebration as 2018 marks 40 years to the day since his business opened. Owner Gavin Downes feels that small businesses such as his have a vital role to play in their communities. He said: “I was born and bred in Suffolk and in the 40 years I’ve been running the business I’ve always been keen to give something back too. Whether that’s supporting initiatives such as Bury in Bloom, judging college hairdressing competitions or raising money for a local cause it’s all part of feeling really involved with the town that has given me this long and successful career.”
This is the eighth year that the campaign has been organised by Our Bury St Edmunds. Mike Kirkham added: “We’ve recently had the results of our annual town centre ‘healthcheck’ survey back and it’s clear that people who live, work and shop here believe that a good range of independent businesses are vital for Bury. People say they are all part of the town’s charm and character. Customers know that they get great service and many would like to see even more independent businesses in our town centre.”
Our Bury St Edmunds Independents’ Week runs from Monday July 2 to Sunday July 8. Details of all the independent businesses can be found at www.ourburystedmunds.com/independents.